Over half of UK avoids online shopping

Are you one of the many that's not yet embraced online shopping? If so, there are a number of safeguards that may allay your fears of credit card theft

A new survey claims that over half of the UK population still does not shop online, with most citing credit card security risks as the reason they stick to the high street.

66 per cent of the 1,000 people that were surveyed by GfK (on behalf of CyberSource Ltd) cite security fears as the main concern when shopping online.

"According to survey respondents, the most common source of information about the safety of online shopping is stories in the media, which naturally focus on crimes or losses of credit card information," claims CyberSource's report based on the survey results.

"But consumers also rely on friends and family for advice. About a third of survey respondents say that they or someone they know has been a victim of online credit card fraud."

So how do you go about ensuring that you are shopping safely? What are the precautions you need to take to avoid online fraud when hitting the massive online shopping mall that is the internet?

Frightened shoppers

"With the abundance of media coverage about security breaches, it is not surprising that some shoppers are frightened off," says MD of CyberSource, Simon Stokes.

"The challenge to the industry is educating consumers to shop safely, to minimise their exposure to fraud. As more people gain access to the Internet and realise the convenience, value, and safety of shopping online, I believe we'll see a higher percentage trying and staying with this form of purchase."

Thankfully, for those UK consumers that are shopping online, it seems that most of them are taking the basic precautions to protect themselves from fraud, with 68 per cent now signed up for the MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa programmes.

57 per cent use credit cards for the additional protection they offer, and 86 per cent look for the secure padlock icon on a website before proceeding with a purchase.